Fondamenta Santa Caterina 3, Isola di Mazzorbo, Venice, 30170
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Celebrity spotting, Romance
Best for Romance - Expert review of Venissa
The setting for this new, star-aspiring temple to creative cuisine is unlikely: on Mazzorbo, one of the lagoon’s lesser-known islands; in a vast walled vineyard where an almost-extinct local grape variety is being nursed back to life; attached to a hotel (see Venissa) which is technically a hostel. Yet gourmet Venissa is fast gaining a reputation among serious food-lovers as one Venice’s must-do culinary experiences.
After training and working with Italian maestro Gualtiero Marchese, and Michel Roux at London’s La Gavroche, chef Paola Budel ran the restaurant at Milan’s prestigious Principe di Savoia hotel. Here in the Venetian lagoon, Paola uses the freshest of local ingredients in surprising ways. The small but select menu changes frequently. On a recent visit I loved the lagoon cuttlefish cooked in a broth of castraure baby artichokes and datterino tomatoes; but you might also find dishes such as kamut spaghetti with sardines and spring onions, or roast cod in a beetroot and green apple sauce. Paola’s creations – which look great on the plate – combine flavours in a way that’s adventurous without being fussy. Though the Venissa venture is the work of prosecco producer Bisol (www.bisol.it), the extensive wine list covers a host of interesting labels from around northern Italy.
The glass, metal and wood restaurant space gleams incongruously at night over the rows of grapes in the Venissa vineyard. Inside, all is dedication to a memorable culinary experience. Outside, the wooden deck is a marvellous place from which to observe the changing colours as the sun sets over the lagoon.
Very professional though some diners I know find the attitude rather cold.
Inside a walled vineyard on Mazzorbo island, the setting is surprisingly rural and agricultural. Check the night ferry service timetable carefully if you need to get back to central Venice after dinner, or pre-book a water taxi.
This is seriously high-class cuisine with prices to match. A full meal will cost at least 70 euros without wine. There’s a five-course taster menu with a wine to match each course at 120 euros.
More information on Venissa:
- Price guide:
- Restaurant, Wine bar
- Italian, Mediterranean, Modern, Seafood
- Fondamenta Santa Caterina 3, Isola di Mazzorbo, Venice, 30170
- 041 5272281
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- 12.30pm-3pm, 7.30pm-10pm. Closed Mon.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Al fresco, Wine